With 2018 on track to become the fourth hottest year on record—surpassed in temperature only by 2015, 2016, and 2017—scientists warned in an alarming paper released on Tuesday that the next five years will likely be "anomalously warm," a sign that extreme weather events currently wreaking havoc in the United States and across the globe could become even more intense in the very near future.
Published in the journal Nature Communications, the new analysis predicts that 2018 to 2022 will be a "warmer than normal period" that "will temporarily reinforce the long-term global warming trend."
"The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures," the researchers add.
In addition to predicting that the planet's overall temperature will likely be "anomalously warm" over the next five years, the scientists also found that Earth's oceans could see "dramatic" temperature rises as well due to possible extreme heat events.
As the Washington Post's Chris Mooney noted in a summary of the new paper, similar heat events "have triggered recent die-offs of coral reefs across the tropics."
In a study published in April, scientists concluded that the human-caused climate crisis has "forever damaged" the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral system in the world.
Scientists' latest frightening climate prediction comes as extreme weather events such as record-breaking wildfires are causing significant damage and deaths throughout the United States and the world.
While environmental experts have established the connection between the climate crisis and intensifying extreme weather events, the corporate media has utterly failed to make this connection clear in its weather coverage.
Making matters worse, the Trump administration—which is currently engaged in a relentless effort to tear down even the most basic environmental protections and sabotage global efforts to combat the climate crisis—simply rejects climate science outright and has attempted to blame the wildfires currently devastating California on "radical environmentalists."
Rebuking the Trump administration for its climate ignorance, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted on Monday, "We must confront the reality that climate change is already destroying tens of thousands of lives, and take concrete steps to avoid its worst consequences."